How do I Choose the Best Pharmacy Tech Programs?

Haven Esme

Each year, thousands of students enter pharmacy tech programs to put them on the track to becoming pharmacy technicians. There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing the best pharmacy tech program for you. Location, cost, and certification requirements are just some of the important elements to consider.

Pharmacy tech programs include courses on proper labeling and coding procedures.
Pharmacy tech programs include courses on proper labeling and coding procedures.

As more diseases and illnesses are introduced into the world, the need for healthcare workers will continue to grow. The pharmacy technician field is one that has seen explosive growth. Most pharmacy techs work in local drug stores, online pharmacies, nursing homes, or in hospitals. Large and small retailers who are expanding their stores to include a pharmacy are also looking for technicians to help fill prescriptions.

Pharmacy tech programs often have instructors who are active in the industry.
Pharmacy tech programs often have instructors who are active in the industry.

There are a number factors a person should take into consideration when deciding what pharmacy tech program to enter, including location and convenience. Pharmacy technician courses can be taken in person or online. Online courses are becoming increasingly popular because of the freedom and flexibility they afford students. Cost is another factor in a person's choice of pharmacy school. Some individuals choose to attend a local community college to get certified as a pharmacy technician, because community colleges often offer affordable pharmacy tech programs for the aspiring pharmacy tech.

The right pharmacy course will also teach a person the day to day duties of the job. Those duties may include counting, measuring, and weighing tablets and medications; mixing medications; retrieving prescriptions; and selecting the proper prescription container. A good course will also teach the prospective pharmacy tech how to handle insurance companies and stay up to date on the latest medications.

The classes that pharmacy tech programs offer varies from school to school, but often the coursework is very similar. Students usually learn about pharmacology, anatomy, chemistry, and pharmaceutical calculations. Most pharmacy tech programs last an average of twelve months. Each school covers different course materials, and finding the right program requires examining the course material and figuring out which areas and skills a student needs to develop.

When choosing a pharmacy technician program, an individual should consider how well the program can prepare them for any certification exams necessary in his region or country. A pharmacy program can seem like it has been completed in vain if the person is unable to pass the needed exams. In the US, most pharmacy techs need to pass the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam. Most states require a new technician to also pass a state exam before they can start work.

Working as a pharmacy tech can be a solid career with job stability. Becoming a pharmacy technician may also open the door for an individual to eventually pursue a career as a pharmacist. An accredited pharmacy school will have transferable credits, which can help a student step further ahead and have an advantage when it comes to pursuing higher education as a pharmacist.

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